Atletico Madrid could wait another 12 months to sign Espanyol defender Mario Hermoso, if negotiations fail in the coming month.
Diego Simeone's side have reportedly unwilling to pay Hermoso's full release clause of €40m with the Catalan side, an d the deal has hit a wall with Espanyol not moving on their stance.
According to weekend reports in Marca, the Spanish international wants to make the move to the Wanda Metropolitano, and he has already agreed a €3m annual salary with Atletico.
However, if Espanyol are not willing to negotiate with Los Rojiblancos' €20m offer for Hermoso, they may wait until his contract expires in June 2020, and bring him to the club on a free transfer.
Espanyol want to avoid that situation, and Ateltico are aware that they can exploit the situation if necessary, however their approach may not work out as Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain have all expressed interest in Hermoso, and would pay €40m for him.
Simeone will assess the deal prior to pre-season, with the club already bringing in Porto defender Felipe Monteiro and Marcos Llorente, however they are short oo cover in defence, following the exits of Diego Godin, Juanfran and Lucas Hernandez.